- Could trade talks be concluded in one year amid Johnson’s aim to have no extension?
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said he would legislate to legally prohibit the government from agreeing to an extension of the 11-month transition period due to come into force after the U.K. formally leaves the EU on Jan. 31.
In effect, it means the U.K. has to come to a conclusion on the new form of relationship with the EU and reach a free trade agreement.
However, Ursula von der Leyen, the new European Commission president, has already said that an 11-month transition period is insufficient to negotiate a comprehensive deal.
Furthermore, Johnson wants to push hard on completing most of the talks as soon as possible in the knowledge that it could take longer than 11 months.
Trade talks between the EU and Canada took longer than seven years despite the fact that they were not main trading partners. Trade talks are generally broad-based and include lengthy discussions on every single goods and service traded.
The Home Secretary Priti Patel will reportedly soon make her case for the new system at the next meeting of Johnson's cabinet, according to the Daily Express. Patel wants the new arrangements in place by Dec. 31, when the U.K. transitions out of the EU, according to the daily. This would also send strong signals that Johnson’s government is unwilling to extend the transition beyond Dec. 31.
Nonetheless, it is hard to calculate the U.K.’s workforce needs within an 11-month timeframe. Changes to the immigration system without consulting businesses could have serious implications in meeting future skills demand. Although the U.K. wants to look confident at the negotiating table, the possibility of an extension to the transitional term beyond Dec. 31 is likely.